Performance Training

Performance Training: Finding Your “Personal Best”

If you were a high school or college athlete, you already know that hard work and competition can produce life-altering benefits. You might think your best days are behind you, but think again! Performance Training can be the gateway to discovering your “personal best” at any age or fitness level.

Working with a coach in East Bank Club’s Performance Center will undoubtedly change your body, but the benefits just start there. This special type of intensive training can also change your confidence, your perspective and even your success in activities outside the gym. But don’t just take our word for it. Two East Bank Club members share their inspirational stories.

Mary McDevitt Gofen

Mary spent most of her youth in the pool, and was a gifted swimmer with Olympic aspirations. She spent hours every day swimming laps, and even earned a top spot on the Stanford University swim team. Ultimately, the goal of an Olympic medal wasn’t realized, and Mary stepped out of the pool and hung up her goggles. Mental and physical burnout around training took their toll, and for the next 25+ years Mary led a fairly sedentary life. She took on a new role as a wife and became a mother to two boys. While Mary was fulfilled being a stay-at-home mom, she felt something was missing inside.

All that changed when Mary stepped into a boot camp class at East Bank Club. The class provided the competition she needed to push herself. Finishing the class gave Mary a sense of accomplishment, and opened up a new interest in training that she hadn’t experienced since her youth. The Performance Center has become Mary’s “happy place.”

“The Performance Center is a really supportive environment where hard work happens and is respected by all, regardless of age,” Mary explains. “There are people half my age in there that root for me because they know I’m serious and will work as hard as my body lets me.”

Since beginning Performance Training with Nancy Fudacz, Mary has met multiple goals and challenges, and is swimming with the Masters swimming program at EBC. Although her looks defy it, Mary is 51 years old and has encountered some of the natural limitations that occur as we age. Earlier stressors on her body have resulted in knee and back issues. Mary and her trainer work to strengthen the surrounding areas to create stability and train around injuries to ensure she’s not exacerbating them.

The most compelling benefit that Mary discovered through her physical transformation is the feeling of possibility that exists in all aspects of her life. Mary explains, “If I can launch a second career as a competitive swimmer at age 51— then what can I NOT do? It feels like more doors are opening than closing as I get older…and I plan to swim right through them!”

Mary always sets goals that keeps her motivated and on-track with her workouts. Most recently it was a mile-and-a-half Alcatraz Island-to-San Francisco swim as part of a triathlon relay, with Nancy on the bike and run. They successfully completed the grueling course, and placed second in their age group!

Wil Schobeiri

When Wil first started training, his motive was simple: get in shape before his wedding. While his physical build is naturally thin and he is relatively young (27), Wil had gained some weight after college due to his extremely intense, but sedentary work schedule. As an executive in a technology start-up, Wil spends most of his days parked in front of a computer, in meetings or traveling on an airplane. Evenings were spent entertaining clients, often resulting in rich meals and cocktails. Wil’s stress level was consistently high and alcohol provided a temporary, and ultimately not very effective, break from the strain.

Little did Wil know that he was about to undergo a transformation. Wil’s trainer worked with him first and foremost on his lifting form. Hunching over computer screens had affected Wil’s posture and was beginning to create problems and physical pain. While Wil wanted to jump right into lifting heavy, his trainer focused on perfect form and creating a strong base. After a couple months, they increased the weight that Wil was lifting, and this continued at a steady pace.

Wil trains in the Performance Center with his coach, Steve Serwon, for Olympic weightlifting. His first deadlift had just over 100 pounds on the bar, and is now at 500 pounds and climbing. Needless to say, Wil met his wedding goal, and even has a six-pack, but that is just a beneficial side effect. The real changes are far more profound. “Weightlifting’s biggest benefit to my life has been the mental clarity and focus that it provides throughout the day,” Wil explains. “Traveling weekly and managing a large team in a growing business comes with a lot of stress, and following a regular fitness regimen has made a huge difference in how I handle it.”

Wil’s eating and drinking habits have changed dramatically as well. He doesn’t deny himself the occasional rich meal or bottle of wine, but the need to use them for stress relief is gone. He knows that the Performance Center or Studio 4, where he practices yoga several times per week for flexibility and injury prevention, will provide the lasting relief he seeks. Wil motivates his friends and colleagues by sharing his progress and personal records in conversation and on Instagram.

Another training benefit that Wil couldn’t have predicted is the strong partnership he has forged with his wife. They work out together with Steve, and root each other on to achieve their goals. “I’m so glad we have this in common and are able to share this together! I’m really proud of the work she’s been doing and the amazing strength gains she’s been able to make. She looks fantastic AND she’s incredibly strong,” Wil said.

Wil is proud of the amount of weight he can lift in the Performance Center, but he is also aware that it was the first small plate on the bar that got him where he is today. “Stepping onto the platform and lifting a small amount of weight with perfect form is a far greater achievement than pounding out huge weight improperly,” Wil explains. He welcomes and encourages lifters of all levels to join him.


East Bank Club | July 2016